Following Listeria Scandal, Blue Bell Fires 37 Percent of Workforce

The company will terminate 1,450 employees and furlough 1,400 others

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

‘This is a sad day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally,’ CEO Paul Kruse said in a statement.

Blue Bell, the ice creamery that recently suffered a listeria outbreak that led to the deaths of three people and illnesses across several states — and forced the company to recall its entire product line — has announced plans for a huge round of layoffs.

Due to what must have been a considerable financial loss resulting from a number of recalls — not to mention the change in public opinion after it was revealed that the company had more than likely known about the presence of listeria since 2013 — Blue Bell has announced that it will terminate approximately 750 full-time employees and 700 part-time employees.

Additionally, the company will put approximately 1,400 employees on furlough, or temporary leaves of absence.

In the next several months, the company will need to drastically improve its sanitation regulations, upgrade its facilities, and rigorously test its products.

“The agonizing decision to lay off hundreds of our great workers and reduce hours and pay for others was the most difficult one I have had to make in my time as Blue Bell's CEO and president,” Paul Kruse announced in a statement. “At Blue Bell, our employees are part of our family, and we did everything we could to keep people on our payroll for as long as possible. At the same time, we have an obligation to do what is necessary to bring Blue Bell back and ensure its viability in the future. This is a sad day for all of us at Blue Bell, and for me personally.”

Related Links
Blue Bell Suspends Operations at Second Listeria-Contaminated Factory Listeria-Contaminated Blue Bell Ice Cream Linked to 3 Deaths Blue Bell Recalls All Ice Cream After 3 Deaths Linked to Listeria ContaminationBlue Bell Knew About Listeria as Early as 2013 but Failed to Act, USDA Finds People Are Selling Listeria-Tainted Blue Bell Ice Cream Online